I am a 24 year old doctor. My problem started five years ago with my maternal uncle (45) when I was 19 years old. He used to come to our house every day and spend a few hours there without permission or asking permission (for two years in a row), in order to spend his free time there. There were problems and arguments between my father and my mother, and he was the cause of the unrest in the family. Every time I said to my mother “Why don’t we kick him out?” she would say, “That is not permissible.” My anger got so bad that I did not take my exams that year, and I failed that year, in protest at my uncle’s behaviour in our house. My uncle has gone, but the psychological problems and memories of not taking the exam that day are still with me. Every time I see my uncle on various occasions I feel very angry.
My question is:
What do you advise me to do? Can I ask for financial compensation from my uncle – even if it is only a little –for the psychological problems that I suffered so that we could restore the relationship between us, especially since I do not want to sever the ties of kinship? What is the Islamic position on this?.
We advise you to forget what happened in the past between you and your uncle. We think that you have given the matter more attention than it deserves. Your uncle’s entering the house without asking permission is not permissible for him, even if he is entering the house of his sister. Seeking permission is obligatory in his case, and your father’s approval of your uncle visiting his house is what matters. He agreed to that, as is suggested by the fact that he continued to visit him for such a long time. The fact that you did not take the exam that year and you failed is something for which you must bear responsibility. Most Muslim families have their problems, and the wise man is the one who knows how to deal with these problems and tries to solve the problems or reduce them. We do not think that your giving up your studying for the exam served any purpose, and you must bear responsibility for that. You should not keep on thinking about what is past, for that will cause psychological problems for yourself and your family. Forget about it and get on with your work; seek the help of Allaah and uphold the ties of kinship and give advice to those who are erring. Do not pay any attention to what the shaytaan makes attractive to you, namely the idea of bringing a case against your uncle and taking financial compensation from him. In addition to the fact that this case may fail in court, it will cause more rifts in your family, and we would not like you to be the cause of that. Mercy should prevail over anger and the desire for revenge. We ask Allaah to open your heart and to bring you and your family together in goodness.
And Allaah is the Source of strength.